[WATCH] Coronavirus situation remains under control, still not time to relax measures, PM says

Prime Minister Robert Abela says results achieved by the country are the product of the government’s ‘proactive approach’ 

The Covid-19 pandemic remains under control, and this is the result of people’s adherence to the government’s measures, Prime Minister Robert Abela said. 

The PM was interviewed on Labour Party television station ONE TV for his weekly address to party supporters. 

“What we are doing, has not been done by any other country, and that’s because we were proactive and not reactive,” Abela said. 

Drawing comparisons to other countries, whose infection and death rates have soared, Abela said that this is still not a time to relax measures. 

He also said that Malta was able to achieve these rates without issuing a complete lockdown. 

“I don’t want a situation, where we achieve success in the pandemic, but then have mental health issues, it is a question of balance,” the PM said. 

The Labour leader also said that other countries’ situations have shown that the secret to limiting the contagion lies in the testing. 

The government he said, has upped the number of tests from 600 to 800 daily, with results coming out in the span of three hours. 

“We can’t arrive to a situation where we prioritise one patient over the other, and that is why we are not holding back in government spending surrounding the health sector,” he said. 

Robert Abela also called on people to not leave their homes unless for their essential reasons. 

He also told people that there is nothing wrong with exercising during these times, stating that he would be finding time to carry out his one hour workout despite having a busy day. 

The PM also praised the armed forces for their work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Armed forces need to ensure that measures are being adhered to, and they are doing a fine job” he said. 

He said that once the Covid-19 situation blows over, he hopes to see an increased police presence in streets. 

“The time of having police man and women at depots will change,” he said. 

Rule of Law reforms 

The PM said that he looks forward to having a police commissioner elected through a public call, after parliament approved the new method on Wednesday. 

“The change was carried out because we had a vision, that of strengthening the rule of law,” he said. 

This will be the first time in the police force’s history that a police commissioner will be appointed after a public call.

Interviews will be conducted by the Public Service Commission and a shortlist of two names will be forwarded to the Prime Minister. The chosen person will then have to undergo a grilling session at the hands of MPs in Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee. 

The PM ensured that the needed reforms and investigations will be carried out by the new commissioner. 

Abela also welcomed the appointment of the new Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti, calling it “historic”. 

“He is an integral and serious person, and has always worked hard,” Abela said. 

The common consensus reached between the opposition and the government is a sign of maturity in the sector, Abela said. 

Abela said that the needed changes highlighted by the Venice Commission in the rule of law must be carried out, stating that the government’s vision is that of strengthening it. 

“We know that we have issues, and we will not side-line them,” he said.